Which Twitter tier are you in?
Companies use all manner of services and software to monitor their Twitter followers and measure user sentiment about their brand. When dealing with complaints about their company’s service, many will attempt to identify and prioritise “influencers”, people who might hold great sway over other users.
This means that certain people – identified by services such as Klout or PeerIndex – may get priority treatment if they tweet about a particular brand.
“Quite a lot of companies will tier their social media communities,” says We Are Social’s Mark Wainwright. “You have your top tier of influencers, which will include journalists, bloggers, and anyone else who’s particularly influential in your community. They might have a lot of followers. Particularly within tech, you get those people who are quite respected who answer other people’s questions. They’re your top tier who you’d keep a close eye on and try to help as much as possible.”
Then there’s the second tier of general users, who are unlikely to receive the personal treatment. “These are the people with whom you try to take a ‘one too many’ approach to answering questions. If there’s a general problem with, say, Microsoft servers and you get lots of people asking, you wouldn’t necessarily respond to all of them. You’d post that one message that would say ‘we’re having a problem with our servers, we’re looking to resolve it as soon as possible’.”
Wainwright admits “there’s no fairness to it,” but says it’s “not a scalable option to respond to 35,000 people” individually.
Finally, there’s the third tier, the spammers and “trolls” who “you wouldn’t generally engage with at all”.